Press: The Grand Exhibition Burlesque Extravaganza in aid of Rape Crisis

The Grand Exhibition was conceptualized by Tenille Lindeque-Joshua (stage name -  Lady Magnolia), a Cape Town burlesque dancer with a passion for uniting the burlesque community for a good cause.  All funds raised from the event will be donated to Rape Crisis.


Date: Saturday 1st August 2015

Venue: City Bowl Market on Hope  - 14 Hope Street Gardens

Time: Doors open at 7pm. Show starts at 8pm.

More about The Grand Exhibition – An International Burlesque Benefit


In May this year Tenille hosted the Cape Town event for World Belly Dance day which raised R20 000 for Rape Crisis. She hopes that The Grand Exhibition will become an annual event world wide, hosted by burlesque dancers from around the globe, with proceeds going to charity, much like World Belly Dance Day.

A little bit more about World Belly Dance Day.


We are inspired by World Belly Dance Day, which is hosted on the 2nd Saturday of May each year, and is celebrated globally by thousands of dancers.  All funds raised from events around the world are donated to charity as an annual contribution from the belly dance community. Lydia Tzigane, founder of World Belly Dance Day, is excited about the prospect of a similar burlesque event and has given us her blessing.


Over the last 7 years, World Belly Dance Day in Cape Town has raised over R100 000 for charity.


The first ever Grand Exhibition event will be held in Cape Town, but fellow burlesque artists have already taken up the cause and Grand Exhibition events will be held in Johannesburg, New York City, Lisbon, Ireland and Chile. Each event will donate the proceeds of the event to a charity of their choice.


The Cape Town event promises to be a celebration of beauty, femininity and color as over 40 burlesque dancers take to the stage in all their finery.   The Grand Exhibition will showcase Cape Towns top burlesque talent, from seasoned professional solo performers to dazzling troupe numbers from Cape Towns longest standing burlesque companies.Enjoy browsing our burlesque market, be mesmerized by a spectacular burlesque show and live electro swing band, Pique-aboo, and then kick off your shoes and dance until midnight as DJ Dear Mrs Panda treats you to a sound sensation that will have your toes tapping.There will be an array of food and refreshment vendors to satisfy your appetite as well as beautiful bespoke burlesque wares, from corsets to pasties, specialty lingerie and everything in between.


Why we chose Rape Crisis as our beneficiary?


Lady Magnolia: "I personally know far too many women who have been victims of rape, sexual abuse and assault. Many women live in constant fear of attack and I believe that burlesque is the ideal medium for women to take back their power and autonomy over their bodies.   As burlesque dancers, we celebrate the beauty and strength of our bodies and our sexuality and I feel that it is our duty to try to extend that celebration beyond our immediate community."


Vita Nova:  “I feel honoured to be able to share my passion for dance and performance art while supporting a cause that provides services for the recovery, support and justice of rape victims. Burlesque is a celebration of women (and people) and it is about choice and our autonomy. Burlesque welcomes everyone and empowers women by giving them the confidence to own their unique beauty and express it in a way that may somewhat challenge societal norms and what is typically sold to our self-doubt as "beautiful" and "sexy" and "successful". Burlesque is an accepting space that diminishes the self-doubt, thus communicating that beauty and sex appeal are not limited to our physical form, but also includes one's experience and interpretation thereof. I think it is great that we are using our power of choice to support an organization who seeks justice for those who have had their rights violated and whose choices and words were not respected."


Baby Ray: “Burlesque can be the scariest thing in the world; it's about making yourself vulnerable, in my opinion, to the standards of beauty your audience holds. And then tearing that apart bit by bit, twirl by twirl. With every bump and every grind, I not only harness my own sense of sexuality, but I allow an audience member to be a part of that experience. Sexuality and sensuality are deeply personal aspects of every individual. By putting it up on stage, you perpetuate the power associated with it. Rape culture in South Africa is perpetuated by the notion that women are somehow less than men; less powerful,  less intelligent, less person and more object. In Burlesque, a woman has TOTAL agency in her sexuality, her body, her gaze, her clothing. And that is something spectacular,  especially in a country where sexuality and gender is policed and seen as something shameful.


Burlesque is all about the performativity...I am not the most feminine woman out there. In fact I wear hoodies and combat boots most of the week. But Baby Ray is feminine as hell. I perform this femininity with rigour to show people that gender is more complicated than you think. Gender is a performance and there is great power in this knowledge. What I do with my body is my choice. MINE. And if I allow you to see me at my most vulnerable, and I say 'yes, look at me' then look at me, watch me perform.  But if I say no. Then it's no. That goes for both on stage and off of it.”



The Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust (RCCTT), established in 1976, empowers rape survivors in the Western Cape on their journey to recovery and on their road to justice. Furthermore, we work to reduce and deter rape in communities, to support survivors speaking out about rape and to bring about law reform through partnering with other organisations across South Africa. We help an average of 300 calling and about 400 new face-to-face clients every month. There is little support available to rape survivors and Rape Crisis is one organisation that provides comprehensive services from the time of the rape right through to the conclusion of the trail and beyond. Our services are run by 13 staff members and 80 volunteers serving a beneficiary group that is 50% black African, 40% coloured and Indian and 10% white.Rape is a significant social problem with 6 000 rapes being reported in the Western Cape every year. However, despite this, government funding and donor support fall short of addressing the full extent of the work required to address this problem.



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